Does It Take…?”
The flowing hair, the glint in the eye, the
easy smile, the voices that pepper his speech…these
are the first things you notice about singer/songwriter Brad
Mormino. Before too long, you see there’s a lot more
to Brad than impossible charm – the guy’s an open
book of experience. Eloquent with words, precise with expression,
Brad Mormino represents a true artistic spirit, the friend
who lives life to its fullest and faithfully returns to tell
the tale. One view of the symbol on his acclaimed CD, Love
Hurts Anyway, that of a lovely flower with petals alternating
with razors, confirms that Brad is a very complex fellow indeed.
Brad Mormino has wandered paths less traveled
– and then some. He spent a dozen years as a drummer,
gigging throughout the Midwest with a hard rock cover band.
He has taken classical voice classes. He has recorded jingles.
He has found himself performing in a piano bar, choosing Bocelli
over all other options. He absorbs talent as diverse as Sinatra
and Zeppelin (thankfully giving the Spice Girls a complete
miss). He has written the theme song of a soap opera. Musically
speaking, the man is insatiable.
Whereas some artists resort to other forms
of expression, Brad Mormino is undeniably attracted to the
art of creating sounds from his life, using his credible skill
as an arranger and vocalist to translate feelings into notes.
There are thirteen cases in point on Love Hurts Anyway. “Been
So Long” starts with a comic acoustic guitar before
plunging into the driving no-bullshit pulse of the main riveting
melody. “True Love” namechecks Cole Porter’s
song of the same title, but Brad’s take on the concept
is dark and relentless. “Bleed” embraces perceived
weakness. “LU2” sharply scores out the results
of emotional walls. Listen to the two Italian-sung tracks,
“Sanguinare” and “L’amore Vero”,
and take in the evocative arrangement and singing style. In
this riveting collection, one can hear a frightening array
of musical styles Brad absorbed en route to finding his. The
end result? It’s what it takes. It’s Brad Mormino.
Through Love Hurts Anyway, Mormino offers an
unflinching look at the not only the war between the sexes
but the more brutal war within the self. Brad Mormino has
produced a stunningly personal work, and like all great personal
works, it is accessible to anyone who listens to it. “It’s
OK to bleed,” Brad sings in “Bleed”, “it
takes guts to be who I am and stand!” Self-doubts linger,
self-love is sought. “I’m just being stupid again,”
he sings later in the CD. Contradiction? Not on your life.
“It is my hope that my songs become other
people’s," says Brad, slyly.